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Race for the 1st: A Conversation with Deaglan McEachern (D)

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

In this Race for the 1st conversation, we talk with Deaglan McEachern, a Democrat running in the closely watched race for New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District. 

McEachern is a businessman from Portsmouth, working in the technology sector as a strategic account executive at Hearsay Social. He is the co-founder of New Hampshire for Amazon, and co-founded New Hampshire Business Owners. McEachern attended Phillips Exeter Academy and spent ten years on the United States rowing team. 

Our Race for the First conversations will focus on the issues at the forefront in the CD1 race, including opioids, guns, veterans, and how each candidate plans to stand out in a crowded race. 

Listen to the interview:

Watch the interview:

Interview Takeaways

Note: Transcribed quotes have been lightly edited for clarity

On Health Care:

McEachern said his progressive values around health care stem from personal experience. When his wife got ill, he said, his family experienced two years of financial stress.

"Could we afford rent and credit cards and health insurance? The answer was no, we couldn't."

In response to a call from a listener on social security and Medicare, McEachern said he supports a "Medicare for all" system.

"Right now we have what I call 'rental car health care,'" he said, "You know, diabetes - if you need an insulin pump when you're 65 years old you should have been having more aggressive treatment in your 30s, 40s and 50s. And so if we want to bend the cost curve, if we want to lower the cost for Medicare in this country I think we need to expand it to everyone."

And when it comes to paying for that Medicare for all system, McEachern said that Democrats should avoid the "Republican trap" of letting the conversation become about listing costs, but talk instead about the benefits to all Americans.

"And that's what I'm willing to do," he said.

On Guns:

McEachern said he supports stricter guns laws, including bans on assault rifles and bump stocks, and increasing background checks for purchases of guns and ammunition.

He said his views on guns were shaped by his role as a parent.

"My daughter's going to go to the same elementary school that I did," he said. "And she's going to know where the finger paints are and she's going to know where the macaroni necklaces are, but she's also gonna know where to hide in the case of an active shooter."

When asked about finding common ground with those on the pro-gun rights side of the issue, McEachern disagreed with the premise that agreement is required of politicians.

"Well my job is not to. Sometimes I think as politicians - we [think] we have to agree on everything, and we're not going to agree on everything," he said. 

"They believe the Second Amendment is the check on the government. I believe the First Amendment is our check on the government and using the ballot. And if they don't like what I have to say, they can vote for somebody else."

Listen to the audio or watch the video posted above to hear the full conversation with McEachern on these and other topics.

Related Reading:

"Portsmouth's Deaglan McEachern Jumps Into Crowded Democratic CD1 Race," from NHPR. 

"McEachern: 'I bring a passion' to 1st District congressional race," from Foster's Daily Democrat. 

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